System designers looking for digital signal processing power with the design simplicity of a microcontroller (MCU) can now utilize a new family of 16-bit Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) from Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP). Designed to deliver faster deterministic performance in time-critical control applications, the new dsPIC33CK DSCs have expanded context selected registers to reduce interrupt latency and new, faster instruction execution to accelerate Digital Signal Processor (DSP) routines. This dsPIC33CK single-core family complements the recently announced dsPIC33CH dual-core family based on the same core.
With 100 MIPS performance, the core delivers almost double the performance of previous single-core dsPIC® DSCs, making it ideally suited for motor control, digital power and other applications requiring sophisticated algorithms such as automotive sensors and industrial automation. It has been designed specifically for controlling multiple sensorless, brushless motors running field-oriented control algorithms and power factor correction.
The new DSCs are also designed to ease functional safety certification required by many automotive, medical and appliance applications where safe operation and shutdown in failure situations are critical. The devices include integrated functional safety features for safety-critical designs such as: RAM Built-In Self-Test (BIST) for checking RAM health and functionality; Deadman Timer for monitoring the health of application software through periodic timer interrupts within a specified timing window; Dual Watchdog Timers (WDT); Flash Error Correction Code (ECC); Brown Out Reset (BOR); Power On Reset (POR); and Fail Safe Clock Monitor (FSCM).
“Microchip’s 16-bit DSCs are highly efficient with minimal delay or latency into the system, and this new core is our best yet,” said Joe Thomsen, vice president of Microchip’s MCU16 business unit. “The feature set and performance make the dsPIC33CK family ideal for time-critical functions such as controlling the precise speed or rotation of a motor, as well as safety-critical functions to ease functional safety certification and ensure dependable operation.”
The dsPIC33CK family features a CAN-FD communication bus to support new automotive communication standards. It comes with a high level of analog integration including high-speed ADCs (3.5 Msps), analog comparators with DACs, and operational amplifiers, enabling motor control applications with smaller footprints and lower bill of material costs. The DSCs include a 250 ps resolution PWM which is ideal for advanced digital power topologies. Live update of firmware (with up to 2 × 128 KB blocks) is also offered to support high-availability systems, especially important for digital power supplies.
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